Famous in a small town...Yep, thats me!

Finding myself in a super duper small town in the middle of nowhere!

Friday, October 8, 2010

"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Handy Dandy Corer/Slicer

Soaking in Lemon Water...

Zesting the Lime

Bringing to a boil

Filling the cute lil jars
I beg to differ! Yesterday a friend of mine gave me two huge bags of pears! Don't get me wrong I love fresh ripe pears, but two bags was toooo much for us to eat! Let the canning begin....again! I found a recipe for Ginger Pear Preserves. I love ginger! And honestly I am in the mood for a "grown up" jam. I did not have fresh ginger root, what a shame I tell ya! So I used ground ginger. The taste of this jam is heavenly, after all pears are the fruit of the gods. I was a little hesitant about making jam, the first time I made it I caramelized the sugar it was hard as a rock and I had to throw out the jars and all! So this time I was determined to do it right. Amazing, super good, and a very nice treat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad"... Edwin Way Teale

Well....Where to start? The summer went by to fast. My garden was the highlight of my summer! It was so much fun and an incredible learning experience. The work was hard, but the fruits of my labor were amazing! I learned how to can. I made pickles, pickled peppers, banana peppers, and more pickles. The kids have started school and have finally settled into the new schedule. I am feeling the urge to quilt again! I love the long winter days, bound to the house, hot coffee, and a great quilt to work on. Somehow in the past week I have ended up with a ton of apples. I canned some plain janes in a light syrup (for my apple cake) and then I started canning apple pie filling. Wow! It is soooooooo yummy! My kids like to eat it straight out of the jar! The first 19 lbs I peeled, cored, and sliced by hand....ouch! Then I invested in a peeler, corer, slicer! What a huge difference. The buy of the year in fact, well besides my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker. I have canned over 20 quarts of apple pie filling and a dozen or so pints of plain apples. I thought I was done, when someone left 2 huge bags of apples on my door step! So tomorrow I will be canning. I really like canning, at first it was scary and weird, but I got the hang of it. My mom told me to use the peeling and the cores to make apple jelly....she is getting me the recipe for this and perhaps I will try it. I tried to make some jam, but I over cooked it and the sugar caramelized and it was as hard as a rock, like candy! I had to throw it out, jars and all! It was a really good summer! Fall is here for sure, the leaves are all falling off the trees, the colors are brilliant, its cold in the morning, the days are so short now, and the combine dust is heavy in the air. Oh and my allergies are killing me!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Perfect Day...

Yesterday I went fishing all by myself! It was amazing, the beauty, the calmness....I found my moment of clarity yesterday. It just so happened that I had part of the day all to myself, which has not happened in over five years. I have always had my little ones with me. I did not realize how much I needed "my time". I could have went and got my nails done, went shopping, quilted, but I chose to go fishing. I caught two fish nothing to brag about, but the day was awesome. The smells, the sounds....I drank a few cold beers and just sat there in the mix of it all. I love fishing almost as much as I love quilting. But usually my fishing day consists of rigging up poles, putting the worms on the hooks, untangling nests, and doing a constant head count to make sure none of the kids have fallen into the water. Yesterday it was quiet, there was no talking, no fighting....it was just silent. I had almost forgotten what quiet sounded like. I took some amazing photos. After a long South Dakota winter the sun felt so good. I actually got sunburned. From now on each month I am going to plan a day just for me.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lemonade In The Shade....

I was kinda stuck on what to name my churn dash quilt. Out of nowhere Lemonade In The Shade entered my mind. It is perfect, the blue the yellow, the lemonade, the shade! I like how my little nine patch label turned out. Labels are fun!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

OMG....(one more time for the record)....OMG!

I FINISHED IT! I finally finished it! I have been working so hard on this Churn Dash quilt and tonight I finished it! I hand quilted it all and it is amazing! The quilting is amazing...the "churn dash"??? Uh...well its a churn dash....Anyway, I love it! I can not believe how big it is. I have a queen size bed and it hangs to the floor on all sides! I have wrestled this quilt for what seems like forever and now its done...I do have to put a label on it though. OMG, its done! I am so proud of myself! Wow! I never thought that I would have it finished already. I barely had the blocks pieced when I started this blog, and now look its done....I am scared to death to put it in the wash, what if it falls apart? Now that would be my luck...I made it with the intention of using it on my bed, now...I just wanna go out and buy a huge space bag, and stash it away! Quilting has given me so much I just cant put it into words. Quilting makes my soul rejoice, I love it so much. What a blessing that my God has given to me. I gotta go and do my little completion dance and then off to snuggle my new treasure!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So I got this wild idea to refinish a old ugly chair that I had. I have never redone furniture before. I wanted something really crazy...like a hot pink with zebra print, or lime green with blue...I picked out this fabric. Its not what I wanted...but it will do! I sanded it all by hand, whew that was tough. Then I put some primer on it. Finally I got to the fun part of painting it red. I had the cushions done before I even got home with the fabric...lol! Now what am I gonna do with that ugly round table next to it??? hmmmm.....maybe black with red bubbles???

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Fever

I have finished Millie's Jelly Roll Quilt. I named it Spring Fever! It was made out of one jelly roll and one hunny bun. I had no idea that one jelly roll would produce such a large quilt! It fits her full size bed. I made the jelly roll out of some fabric that I had in my stash as well as the hunny bun. The backing is a super soft fuzzy fleece. I tied this quilt with light pink yarn. Although sewing strip after strip got boring I love the way this quilt turned out! I only had six different fabrics! The recipe called for 40 different fabrics. I had extra strips that I sewed all together for the binding. I also made a matching pillow! Jelly Rolls are fun!!! Not that I want to start another one right way, but someday! MUAH!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Its Raining....Its Pouring...The Old Man....

Oh my! I had to take Lola to the vet today in the next town over (since my little town doesn't have a vet or even a hospital) and the road was closed due to flooding! Well I decided to go down the road as far as it would let me to get some pictures of this flood. I got about a mile away from the river and took these pics. I can't believe how much water is in the river. I had to go back to town and then down the north highway and through another town, to get to the vet, an 8 mile trip ended up taking all morning. When I got to the bridge the river is almost crested onto that highway as well. I figure by night fall it will be closed too. I can go get Lola this afternoon after 3:00 ugg I gotta make it over to get her! She hates being in cages and I don't want her to think that I left her! She is getting spayed and an eye tuck. Her eyes are badly infected due to the wrinkles pushing her lashes in and under her eyelid. I had no idea that it was that bad. I knew that her eyes were red a lot, but just figured that it was the way she was. The vet said that she is in pain due to the infection....so...The weather here in South Dakota is just amazing. It was raining the other day, then snowing, then an hour later raining, then snowing...I had no idea that the river would flood over the roadways...Its so crazy! We moved here from Colorado where there are water restrictions and drought! Blowing dirt, dry as hell, and you had to fight to just have green grass! I love the seasons and the weather here! I got to go to a fabric shop yesterday in the next town over, its an outlet shop, I got a couple of really good deals...I will post pics of them later. The jelly roll quilt is almost done its in the process of being tied! I got a fuzzy furry fleece type stuff to go on the back of it! What a mess that stuff makes!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

La La La La LOLA....

This is my buddy, Lola! She is such a sweetie pie! I rescued her from a puppy mill! She is by far the most interesting dog I have ever known. I just love her wrinkles especially the big one above her nose! She likes it when you pet her face. She is so funny! Lola's day consist of sleeping, eating, and snoring! She snores very loud! She has a giant heart and radiates love. I love you Lolie dog!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Sneak Peek....

I had to post a picture of the jelly roll quilt that I am working on for my youngest daughter! It is coming out so cute! I still have a lot of rows left to sew together and on, but here is the sneak peek...

Its That Time Again...

Well Casey will be arriving home again in the morning. I have been busy for the past two weeks while he was at work. But now its time to put things away for the week. I got the jelly roll quilt half way put together...lol! My it was a lot of strip piecing. I swore that I would never do another one, but when I started getting the rows done it transformed into a awesome quilt! I will do another one, maybe even a couple of them. I got my rail fence all sandwiched together and I started hand quilting it. I love that quilt. It is so pretty. I love the colors! I'm so slow at hand quilting, I think its because I'm trying very hard to make small stitches. All that practice has finally paid off. My stitches are much smaller and more uniformly spaced. I am using a burnt orange thread to quilt with. It looks really good on the back of the quilt, the back is a chocolate brown. Something I learned while making this Rail Fence quilt is: SQUARE UP THE BLOCKS! I had never done this prior to making this quilt! I had to take a picture of all the mess that had to be cut off! I actually followed the reciepe for that quilt to the T, well I didnt wash the fabric prior. It came out so good, no puckers, the seams matched perfectly, and it looks fantastic! I am going to start following directions! Lesson learned. I still haven't got my churn dash quilted, but that's okay, I'm working on it, slowly but surely! If I get it done before spring that would be great! It will be nice for my bed in the summer time. My son adores his Scooby Doo quilt! I am happy that I made that for him. Now I only need three more! lol! Well Millie's is going to be the jelly roll quilt. I think I will attempt to machine quilt that one. Maybe in a little flower design...I don't know but something besides stippling. I really want to go fabric shopping. Casey said that he would take me...uggg! I hate it when he or my children are with me. I need concentration...lol!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Scooby-Doo, Where are you?"...

Oh there you are! I whipped this quilt up this weekend for my little guy Justice. I got a book from Thimbleberries called "Tried and True". It has wonderful patterns in it and they are easy. I bought cheapo fabric again!!! And now look, my points don't match. The yellow fabric was practically see-threw, it didn't feed into the machine right so it puckered, and it seemed to shrink when I pressed it. Not only that but it raveled when I cut the triangles. Did I just say a couple of weeks ago that I would never buy cheapie fabric again? Will I ever learn? I have that jelly roll that I am going to sew today. I am excited to see how it turns out. I was thinking about going out of town and looking at some fabric, but I suppose I should finish what I have cut first. I still have that Moda "Northern Solitude" fabric, just sitting there. I suppose in a way I am scared to start cutting it. First of all if I screw up, its a lot of money cut wrong, and since I live in B.F.E, I will have to order more of it. It is beautiful fabric! I think that I will do this jelly roll quilt and then start it. I made a label for this Scooby quilt. It was the first label that I have ever made! I wish I would have done it with all my quilts. Especially the ones that I had given away. I didn't realize how easy they were to make. I tried to print some out on the computer using freezer paper and fabric, however when I washed the labels all the ink ran...so I just settled for a handwritten label using a fabric pen. I think it turned out cute!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I will bend....but not break!

Well now, I thought I would do some research as to why my needles are bending, while I am quilting. At first I thought I was being to rough, perhaps the loft was higher, maybe my hands were even cold, who knows, but I had to find the answer. Please note that I have not had any problems prior with my needles bending ( I bent 4 today, in less than an hour). I found this...

Harikuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles
On February 8th, all across Japan, Harikuyo will take place in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Hari means needle, and Kuyou is a Buddhist memorial service; Memorial services are usually held for spirits of the dead but it is also common to hold them for inanimate objects that have served well in life, or indeed that life depends on.

Known as the Festival of Broken Needles, it is a ritual of thanks and respect for tools of the sewing, tailoring and embroidery trades. It dates back 1500 years; women (and men) dress in fine kimono and gather together all of the needles they've used, broken and/or and worn out during the previous year. They proceed to the local temple or shrine, where a three-tiered altar is prepared. In the center section is a large slab of tofu, into which everyone plunges the pieces of their broken needles.

Later they will be taken to a sacred final resting place. The tofu keeps them safe and not forgotten, yet because of being protected in the tofu they can do no harm with their points. In a second sense they are still present in life. The priest will incant a sutra, that reflects the passage of the needles from use, and invokes a Buddhist blessing that is passed on to the users of the needles. By showing respect to the needles they have used through the past year, they are offering thanks and requesting that the power and energy of the needles be present in the stitchers for the coming year, so that their skills may be improved. Priests will also sing sutras to comfort the needles, heal their broken spirits and thank them for work well done. No sewing takes place on this day.

"...women have many secret sorrows in life. These sorrows are often passed to the needles during the long hours of stitching and the needles are thought to take on the burden of some of these sorrows thus taking them away with the stitching that they do."

Resources: Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History; Rufus, Anneli: The World Holiday Book, Harper San Francisco 1994; About.com/Japan

Early last week my family was hit with a crisis. We are trying to pull through it but will not know the outcome until early March. It has been a very stressful week, full of fear of the unknown, fear of loss, and trying to find trust in someone that holds our well being in their hands. I feel that the above paragraph about women's sorrows being passed to the needles is particularly ironic. And I kinda think it holds some truth...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Hectic Day....

Since Casey has been home we have ran and ran and ran! Dentist appointments, Eye doctor appointments, shopping, taxes, driving...Everyday has been a trip to the city! I am so tired! I have two Valentine parties to go to at the school! Last night we wrote out the little cards, prepared the candy, did homework, took baths, ate supper, went grocery shopping....uggg! Thank goodness its almost the weekend! I am exhausted! Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to. So today somewhere with all the appointments we have to find time to go get a gift. And I have to get Casey's laundry done, get him packed, and ready to leave early Sunday morning...Thank goodness that he is only off work for one week! I don't think I could do this for two weeks! I don't think I am going to be able to shop for fabric this weekend. At this point I don't care! I hate going into the fabric shop rushed for time. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quite Charming....

When I first started quilting I got on ebay and seen an auction for charm squares. I was so taken in by them that I ordered and ordered and ordered. I made a quilt for my mother in law with purple and green pinwheels. The throw was entirely made out of charm squares that I had ordered on ebay! I don't have any pictures of it. I wish I did, so I think I will send her an email and ask her to take some pictures of it for me. I also did this nine patch/friendship star quilt with charm squares. The border is made out of a charms cut and rowed...Oh my thinking back on piecing all those little tiny strips makes my head spin. I must have been very determined to make that border! I love this quilt simply because I did not have a recipe for it, I did all the measurements and block placing! And I hand quilted the entire thing! It was the first quilt that I made for myself! After that quilt, in my stash layed all these packs of squares, mostly ugly ones that I did not put in my nine patch. I didn't know what to do with them. So one day I got them all out, sewed them together row after row after row, and made this scrappy quilt! At first when I looked at it, all I could see was yuck! I hated it! It looked to me like a child who had been at the State Fair all day eating cotton candy, corn dogs, soda pop, ice cream, ya know all that fun stuff?! Well that quilt looked as if that child got on a ride and threw up! I hated all the colors, the prints, it had no form, no design...nothing! So I decided to do some machine quilting...ha ha ha ha ha (in my evil mad scientist voice). I watched some YouTube videos on how to stipple, bought a free motion quilting foot for my machine, and got busy! I thought I was doing really good, not crossing any lines, smooth, flowing, and when I stopped to wrestle the quilt to a different position, I peeked at the back! HOLY MOLY, what a mess! The thread was all nested! I cant even explain how it looked it was awful! So I spent most of the morning removing the stitches, or whatever that mess was on the back! Did some more research about machine quilting and found that first off I needed to get a grip! No seriously a grip on the fabric, that they sold gloves to help this problem, well ya know I live out in the middle of freakin nowhere! But since I am a resourceful person I cut some dish gloves down to wrists and thought to myself that will work just fine, until I can get to town and get those fancy gloves! I also discovered that I was not doing that little back and forth thing in the same spot when you start. I have to admit it was a lot of fun once I got the hang of it! However, the dish gloves, did not work that great, way tooooooooooo much moisture, my hands got hot! I thought I was almost done, when I noticed that I had ran out of bobbin thread probably 10 minutes before...I simply hate it when I run outta bobbin thread! I finished the quilt! I had a few puckers on the back, but it wasn't bad for my first go at it! When I went to town and bought my 1/4 inch machine foot, I spotted those gloves! So I bought them! And like most of my fancy gadgets I haven't used them....yet! Go figure! After machine quilting that quilt, it wasn't so ugly! It was like I bonded with the ugliness of it and accepted it for the scrappy thing it was!